How to Treat an Ankle Sprain

Aug 31, 2022

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Ankle sprains are common among active individuals who play sports or participate in activities that require a quick change of direction. Ankle sprains are often self diagnosable and treatable, but in some cases need further treatment to heal properly.

What is an ankle sprain?

Ankle sprains occur when the ankle is twisted, rolled, or moved in an incorrect way. The awkward action may tear or stretch the ligaments of the ankle causing pain and swelling. Most sprained ankles can be treated with rest, ice, elevation, and relaxation

If the pain does not get better with selfcare, you should see a doctor for treatment. 

What is the difference between a broken ankle and a sprained ankle?

Ankle sprain is an injury to the ligaments in the ankle, while having a broken ankle is an injury to a bone within the ankle. If you experience immediate throbbing pain, swelling, bruising or tenderness, you may have a broken ankle. A tiny crack in the bone, or a clean break can occur from a simple fall, a awkward twist when playing a sport, or a major event like a car crash. 

An X-ray, MRI, CT Scan, or ultrasound will be used to diagnose an ankle fracture. A doctor may reccomend one of these tests if you experience a sprained ankle. 

Ankle Sprain Treatments

Rest, ice, elevation, and relaxation are the best initial treatment for ankle sprains. Over the counter pain medication can also be used to treat pain experienced from ankle sprains.

The team at Garden State Pain and Orthopedics create a personalized treatment plan individuals with ankle injuries. The treatment plan may consist of:

  • Crutches
  • Ankle braces
  • Elastic bandages
  • Sports tape
  • Casts or a walking boot. 

In severe cases, minimally invasive surgery may need to be performed to repair damaged ligaments in the ankle. The team at Garden State Pain & Orthopedics creates a treatment plan tailored to your specific injury and activity level. Depending on the severity of your condition, treatment for an ankle injury may include:  

  • Rest and activity modification
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • Steroid injections
  • Physical therapy

If your ankle pain and symptoms persist despite treatment, you may need surgery to repair the damaged ligament. The expert surgeons at Garden State Pain & Orthopedics perform minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery whenever possible. Physical therapy is suggested post operation to improve range of motion and rebuild strength. A physical therapist can provide specifics exercises to strech the ankle and rebuild its mobility.